SHOPS in a North East Wales town have created 1,000 new jobs in the past 18 months.

Many of the new jobs have come from the Eagles Meadow shopping park in Wrexham but some have come from new independent stores in the town.

Four new tenants have also signed up for units at Eagles Meadow meaning the shopping centre is now 95 per cent full.

The new shops at the centre, including a barber shop, an entertainment retailer, a mobile phone shop and a calendar shop, will also create about 20 new jobs.

At the same time it has also been revealed that Wrexham is bucking the trend in terms of shop vacancies.

The town is faring much better than places like Cardiff, Newport, Crewe and Liverpool with an overall vacancy rate of 12.1 per cent.

The report compiled by the Local Data Company relates to the last six months.

But although Wrexham does not have the highest vacancy rate the figure has increased by 5.27 per cent over the last six months.

Town Centre Manager Isobel Watson is still positive that Wrexham is faring the recession well.

“In Wrexham more than 50 per cent of the stores are owned and managed by independent retailers,” she said.

“In addition, the three indoor markets create a different shopping experience for visitors to the town.”

On a recent visit to Eagles Meadow Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said: “Eagles Meadow opened in 2008 which was probably the worst time for retail in the last 20 odd years.

“I think the progress we have made is a fantastic illustration of how Wrexham has taken the centre to its heart but also how strong the retail offer is here.

“I think it’s a combination of a good location, a good town and good owners – there are lots of positives going on.

“There’s a buzz around Eagles Meadow and that’s good for the whole town. Together, Wrexham and Eagles Meadow have an offer that can compete with anywhere except the large cities.”